Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy weekend at friends

It’s gotten quite cold now, it has been below -20 anyway where we went for the weekend. It's -30 in Tyva, they say now. Husband’s friends (mine also but she’s Mongolian, it’s how we know them) live a few hours away in a beautiful place. That is, when you can see it. Right now everything is just white, but we also visit when there isn’t snow. We love it there because here is very flat and just like steppe all around, even some sandy desert places really like between Tyva and Mongolia around the border crossing area. There where they live it is like the hills, forests and lakes around south Tyva and north Mongolia, so it’s like at home for us really. Even some animals and trees like ours! It is close by the border to Alberta and Montana, and the most beautiful part is also a provincial park. 

It is better to go when there isn’t snow, to walk and swim and picnic. But now we visited just for a change and it was so nice, they have a log home with big fireplace so it was warm. That man also works at mining, so it’s how husband found out about his wife. She’s so nice, we talk about our families and home and so on. Of course we also make some traditional foods for the meals together and lots of salt tea, which her husband doesn’t like! He was also working at mining in Mongolia, but not at the same time as husband. They got three kids, and I love to be with them too, they are sooo cute! There was some snow and some sun too, so we went with the kids to the hill with some plastic sleds, until we got cold. Of course I fell off but it’s ok when it is very cold like that. You can also ski there but I can’t do it.

Anyway we pretended it was New Year already and played some old games after eating, and listened to her CDs from Mongolian singers. It sounds some more like Chinese than Tyvan ones, I think. She told me a saying she read from Dalai Lama: 

‘The key to a happier world is the growth of compassion. We do not need to become religious. All that is necessary is for each of us to develop our good human qualities.’ 

I wish Dalai Lama didn’t say ‘All’ because that makes it sound too easy and I find it is difficult for me. And what should we do with our bad qualities? They are there, I can’t ‘undevelop’ them. (I know it’s not a real word.) Her husband isn’t Buddhist but he likes to come to the temple in any case.

When we were talking we said ‘Oh, we sound like the old people now, just the good old days!’ because we talked about when we were kids and wintertime. Then the kids went to their computer. Canadian husband always says it was the same for him, but we know it wasn’t so bad here at that time. Even though he had to like us go to ‘have a look at the animals’ in the yard, even in the storm or the icy snow, and in the dark too! We laughed about it - I’m so happy it’s not like that for us here now, but still we think about our families who don’t have the bathrooms yet, or even the water in the house. I remember the ice in the bucket.

That place has the history about the starting of RCMP, our Mounties, because there was a big fight with some yanks that came over the border and some first nation people, so afterwards they decided to start the police in Canada. There is an exhibition at the fort about it, we saw it I think the first time we came to see them. In summer there are too many people in some places, like the big lake like our Chagytay, but we are lucky our friends know where to go. I look forward to coming there every time. They like to visit us because we are on the way to the city, and we are lucky there is the Highway between us, although it’s boring to see the view when we are driving, I fall asleep, because it’s very far for me.

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